Shrek's motivation? "I need to have you all to myself."
Poor Fiona said, "Whenever I think of leaving her for two nights, I feel like I'm going to vomit."
Shrek, along with other folks inside this situation, is making Fiona feel crazy for not wanting to leave her 12 week old baby for two nights. Other pertinent information - Fiona is breastfeeding, and Fiona works nearly full time and has to be away from her baby all week. She and Shrek can't afford for her to stay home, even though she wants to.
My reaction to all of the above was unprintable, because this is a family blog, but let's just say that there's also a finger to express the feelings I have toward Shrek right now.
Oh, how I remember those early days of motherhood. It is such a huge adjustment. And you don't want to be crazy. You don't want to be, already at 12 weeks in, that overprotective hovering mom. It's so easy to make a first-time mom question her choices, to make her feel like if she doesn't leave her baby with loving grandparents for two nights she's somehow doomed to be that "helicopter mom" at the playground who practically drowns her kid in Purell and makes him wear a helmet to go down the slide.
New moms are so vulnerable. They are under intense internal and external pressure to do everything right, even though they're doing something that they've never done before (raising a kid) and that they could never have imagined accurately pre-kids. It starts at birth - did you have a "natural" birth without drugs, an epidural, a c-section? Did you really need that c-section or are you "too posh to push"?
Hell, it starts before birth - are you eating 100% organic ice cream from happy cows raised in Vermont when you crave ice cream, or are you getting the cheap store brand? Vlassic pickles? Why not? Don't you want to give your baby the best???
Think I'm kidding? Read the diet section of the (extremely evil) book "What to Expect When You're Expecting." I'd quote it, but I burned my copy in effigy. It said something like, "You only get 9 short months to give your baby the best nutrition possible! So you must agonize over every bite of food that goes into your mouth. Are you SURE that what you're eating is the best?" Screw them, I just wanted watermelon, guacamole, and ice cream... Mary Grace had so much Mexican food in utero that I was concerned she'd be born saying, "Hola Mama! Como est ca?" or "S-O-C-K-S." Mmmmm... fajitas!
It never ends. My siblings and I are extremely close, and yet my brother has questioned some of my parenting choices. I gave my kids a bit of Diet Pepsi once when we were at my mom's (my sister and I were going to run to the store to get the organic, sugar free, juice made from apples hand picked by Oompa Loompas - we were on our way out the door, actually, but the kids were thirsty and Diet Pepsi was what was available. I figured a couple ounces wasn't likely to kill them or give them cancer). He asked me, if I recall correctly, if I was crazy. I told him that when he had kids he was free to let them drink Diet Pepsi, or not, as he saw fit.
We talked about it later (I wasn't mad, I've been doing this for 4-1/2 years if you include my pregnancy with MG, I'm used to it), and he said he was just surprised. I said, "It's not like I give them Diet Pepsi every day, or even every week, but they have pop occasionally for a treat." Moderation in all things, right? He assured me that he wasn't trying to be critical at the time, he was just genuinely surprised.
Now it's on the record, I give my kids diet soda sometimes. They also watch more than an hour of TV a day. And they eat fast food, too. And I don't always get the apples, sometimes I get them fries. BAD MOMMY!
Anyway, the trouble with being a first time mom is that you don't have any data to support your decisions. If I give Claire Diet Pepsi, and someone looks at me askance, I can point to Mary Grace and say, "Hey, I haven't killed her, yet, I must be doing something right!" But when you only have one, and your one is so little, and you're still questioning yourself at every turn, you are so vulnerable to criticism... It's really cruel of anyone, even the baby's father, especially the baby's father, to make the new mother feel nuts for anything - - unless she truly is nuts, like I was, and then you need to do whatever it takes to get her help. Of course, that didn't happen until MG was older...
Here is my point - if you're a new mommy and someone is trying to make you do something that you don't want to do, particularly if that thing causes a visceral reaction, as Fiona's thinking of leaving made her want to vomit:
Don't do it!
Have the self-confidence to put your foot down. You love your baby. You are doing what you feel is best. You are the only person who is going to have to live with the choices you make as a mother, so make sure that you're making you're own choices - not the choices dictated to you by others. Who wants to live with somebody else's choices?
You can't please everyone. If you breastfeed, someone is going to give you a dirty look for doing it in public. If you don't nurse in public, and instead you pump, the La Leche League is going to get all up in your grill about nipple confusion, if you feed formula, instead, all the boob nazis are going to come at you - even if you have the best of reasons for choosing formula (I've had friends who have been on life-saving medication and have had to feed formula because it was either take the medicine that would make the baby sick if she nursed while taking it, or die, and they still get given the business about nursing, and they still feel guilty deep down inside - that's just sick). Your every choice will be questioned and scrutinized, and someone will think you're making the wrong choice, no matter what. So don't listen to them - make your own (informed, rational, reasonable) choices.
Here's another little truism I decided to live by when Mary Grace was really little - only take advice from people whose children you would choose to live with. Think about it. If Sally Sunshine is telling you to do A, B, and C, but Sally's kids are hellions who make your blood pressure go up just thinking about them, why would you take Sally's advice? So your kids can turn out like hers? I don't think so! And the same goes for me - if you wouldn't want to live with my delightful, charming, beautiful, perfect children, don't listen to me, either.
So how do you deal with unwanted advice? How do you deal when your own family is questioning your parental choices? They should just hand out laminated cards in the hospital that look like this:
Just print that one out and put it in your wallet and use it, as needed.
That would make an awesome t-shirt. Hmmmm....
As for you, Shrek, you've had Fiona "all to yourself" for 10 years, and you'll have her "all to yourself" for the next 50. But this first year of your daughter's life is different, and fleeting, and you don't get her all to yourself for the next, oh, 280 days or so, ok? You're just going to have to be a grown up and cope.
Because I said so.